Dessert in Honolulu, HI
Waiola Shave Ice is the classic Cadillac of shave ice the world over. We dare you to find a softer, more mouth-melty experience than a spoonful of Waiola’s drenched in syrup. The mom and pop store lugubriously pours flavors like lychee, lilikoi, bubblegum, strawberry cream, and more over your delightful cup. If you’re in the mood to break from the traditional shave ice, add an evaporated milk “snow cap,” condensed milk, azuki beans, vanilla ice cream, and mochi balls to your concoction. Don’t be fooled by the old-looking houses surrounding Waiola’s. This place has been around since our WWII grandparents were kids for a reason! Cash only, neighborhood street parking, open daily 7:30 am to 6:30 pm.
Otto Cake’s 86 flavors of cheesecake will have you popping into their box-sized Chinatown shop for $5 a slice or $30 for an entire cheesecake. Each cheesecakes tastes homemade with love, because it is! Flavors rotate daily so you can saunter in and sample the original along with the bacon maple or strawberry lilikoi, then watch as the staff rings you up on the handmade wooden cash register. Sponge up the artistic vibe of Otto Cakes in Historic Chinatown, and catch cheesecakes at band performances, burlesque revues, and nightclubs around Honolulu too. Open late (for a bakery) from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, to 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Everything looks fancy and French, but tastes airy and light with not too much sugar in a way your Asian grandmother would compliment, with distinctly Asian influences such as green tea, chestnut, and milk. La Palme D’Or’s chic modern interior and lone table make it a grab-and-go place by necessity, but every nook houses a new sweet in a pretty package and cute staff behind the counter. Their most popular cake reigns Strawberry Shortcake, a fluffy white cake layered with airy whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries. Cakes come in cute, ready-made sizes fit for four or eight people. For those with single-servings in mind, the glass case houses beautifully presented parfait delights, fruit tarts, cake jelly rolls, and cup desserts with innovative ingredients and layers of flavor.
Enormous, succulent fresh fruit smoothies and juices emerge from the carousel of fruits stacked around Summer Frappe. Take yourself to elysium because these smoothies are almost pure fruit! Luscious tropical beauties like jackfruit, soursop, durian, papaya, and mango, jostle for your attention next to watermelon, strawberry, banana, and creamy avocado. Summer Frappe does not add excessive sugar because their stockpile of ripe fruits speaks for itself. You can also add tapioca pearls and various jellies to your smoothie, which by the way will be enormous (think Starbucks venti) for only $3.50. One customer describes watching his watermelon coconut juice with grass jelly emerge in its cup as a “beautiful white smoothie, spiked with waves of pink, and held by a base of super smooth crystalline black jelly.”